June 27, 2024

Kimchi: Immune Superstar?

A recent study published in Nutrients examined the impact of heat-treated Lactiplantibacillus plantarum nF1 (HT-nF1), a probiotic strain derived from Korean kimchi, on immune function in healthy adults.

Previous research has highlighted HT-nF1’s potential to combat influenza viruses and enhance overall immunity by boosting immune cell activation, interleukin 12 (IL-12) production, natural killer (NK) cells, and levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and A (IgA)—all crucial components for maintaining a robust immune system.

The study involved 100 participants aged 19-75 with normal white blood cell counts. The treatment group comprised 50 randomly assigned subjects who received daily capsules containing 500 billion HT-nF1 cells over 8 weeks.

Researchers observed significantly elevated IL-12 levels in the treatment group compared to placebo. Additionally, participants who initially had low IgA levels also showed significantly increased NK cell activity. These findings suggest that HT-nF1 may effectively improve immune function, highlighting its potential probiotic strain.

As our understanding of the gut’s impact on immunity expands, supplements like HT-nF1 offer promising avenues to enhance health naturally. Emphasizing functional foods in future research is crucial for advancing our understanding of their health applications. Meanwhile, incorporate kimchi and other fermented foods into your diet for diverse benefits extending beyond gut health.


Hong GH, Lee SY, Kim IA, et al. Effect of Heat-Treated Lactiplantibacillus plantarum nF1 on the Immune System Including Natural Killer Cell Activity: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Study. Nutrients. 2024;16(9):1339. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16091339